Dwight Howard Trade Rumors: Magic Must Deal D12 to Save Their Future

John Rozum@Rozum27Correspondent IJuly 10, 2012

ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 13:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic smiles during the game against the Miami Heat at Amway Center on March 13, 2012 in Orlando, Florida.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The Orlando Magic should just get it over with and trade away Dwight Howard.

This charade has been going on for so long that once done, if done, then it'll be a great weight lifted off the shoulders of everyone involved and interested.

And according to ESPN, the deal is complex but still in the works:

Sources told ESPN.com that the Nets and Magic are cautiously optimistic that the Cavaliers and Clippers will help them facilitate a four-way trade that lands Howard in Brooklyn.

In addition, Orlando will be getting quite a bit if the deal falls through:

According to sources the Magic would get Brook Lopez, Luke Walton, Damion James, Shelden Williams, Armon Johnson and three first-round picks -- two from the Nets and a lottery-protected first from the Clippers

For as great of a player Dwight Howard is, that's certainly not a bad exchange. Here, let's look at Orlando's immediate future from the aftermath of trading away Howard.


Draft Picks

Any time a team gets multiple first-round selections in a draft, the probability of finding that future franchise player significantly increases. Orlando, on a whole other scale, could receive three first-rounders which immediately save its future.

Whether it's all in one draft or spread out over time, the Magic would have an abundance of selections to use. Not to mention their own first round pick, which could be rather high in the 2013 NBA draft because at least one rebuilding season would likely occur anyway.

This also makes Orlando an even younger team to completely revamp itself. The Magic have been a consistent playoff team since the 2006-07 season, but 2011-12 was a nosedive compared to previous years.

With a lot more young and top talent to rebuild, the long-term future would possess greater potential toward being Eastern Conference title contenders.

Trading Leverage

Another area to take advantage is the trading block with multiple first-round picks.

Orlando could go after virtually anyone it wants to try and build around, and the Magic would also draw much interest from any number of teams. Considering that the NBA draft is just two rounds, having those first-round selections are extremely vital.

Best of all, Orlando could utilize the multiple picks to trade up and try to position itself with multiple lottery picks in one draft. Now, although that's a more narrowed approach and it's basically an all or nothing risk, the Magic would simply have that option.

In a league that's dominated by superstars, Orlando could potentially have at least two or more future stars if the Howard trade happens.


Veterans to Build Around

Two players worth mentioning that Orlando could get from the source above are Brook Lopez and Sheldon Williams.

Lopez is a valuable center who can be an everyday starter. Although his 2011-12 season was cut short to only five games because of an ankle injury, Lopez is a solid and consistently reliable player when healthy. 

The man started two straight full seasons for the Nets in 2009-10 and 2010-11. During this span, Lopez averaged 19.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and 36 minutes per game. Not to mention the big man shot 80.2 percent from the line as well.

As for Williams, he can be a serviceable starter or rotational player. Last season he started 35 of 58 games played for the Nets and averaged a career-high 22 minutes per game. Although he only averaged 4.6 points per, Williams did grab six boards and connect 73.1 percent on free throws.

That's not a bad frontcourt to begin the post-Dwight Howard era in Orlando. Include the draft picks and the Magic's future has more legitimacy than at first glance.


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